Alcolu – pronounced “al-kuh-LOO” – is located in Clarendon County. It was established as a mill town for a local lumber company in the late 1800s . The town’s name combines parts of the names of Mr. D. W. Alderman (“Al”), owner of the mill; Mr. Coldwell (“co”), his friend and brother-in-law; and Lulu (“lu”, Alderman’s daughter.
In the early 20th century, Alcolu was a quintessential company town. Everyone worked for the mill and wages were paid in metal coins stamped with an “A.” This was the acceptable currency at the company store where residents could buy groceries, see the doctor, or watch a movie in the 200-seat theater upstairs. Today the building is an antique showroom and looks very much like it did in the early 1900s.